Last year, a two-page circular letter from an address in Central London arrived in dozens of offices and homes throughout Britain. It was a handsome campaign document, announcing the appearance of eight 'easy-to-read briefings' and the existence of 'five local support groups in Glasgow, Birmingham, Berkshire, Leicester and Greater London'. The Mozambique National Resistance - Renamo, in Portuguese - has created havoc in Mozambique for a decade. United States sources hold the 'anti-Communist' insurgency responsible for tens of thousands of civilian killings. Renamo's atrocities are too outlandish to warrant description in anything other than a pathology report. In its breezy national mailing, however, the 'Mozambique Solidarity Campaign' describes Renamo as a 'progressive force' representing 'the argument for peace and national reconciliation' in Mozambique. The campaign is patronised by many young right-wingers, including Marc Gordon of the International Freedom Foundation, an anti-communist organisation which enjoys extremist American funding. Like many Western ideologues who sup with the devil, Gordon has the long spoon of ignorance to hand: he has never set foot in Mozambique. In October, however, he got as far south as Brighton, to advertise Renamo's case in fringe meetings at the Tory Party Conference. Gordon is touting the insurgency as a political alternative to Frelimo, the Marxist Government which took over from the Portuguese in Mozambique 13 years ago.
LRB 16 February 1989 | PDF Download